TOPEKA — Just seconds before winning the game, Bishop Carroll’s Ryan Gleason was focused on another difficult task: removing her nose ring so she could take the field.
The Carroll sophomore, who hadn’t played a second the entire weekend, was checked in for a sudden-death penalty kick, and she blasted the shot into the top left corner to give Carroll a 1-0 victory over Maize South via penalty kicks in the 5A third-place game.
Gleason didn’t even realize the significance of the shot. After both teams made two of their first five penalties kicks, Gleason believed that both teams would get five more PKs each.
A previous miss from South’s Haven Johannsen, though, made Gleason’s kick the potential game-finisher — a fact that Carroll coach Greg Rauch didn’t tell the sophomore.
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“I turned around like, ‘Yes, I made it,’ and everyone started running and the whistle went off,” Gleason said. “I realized that it ended the game, so I was like, ‘All right.’”
It was a happier ending for Carroll, which fell in last year’s third-place game to Kapaun Mt. Carmel in a contest also decided by PKs.
“The consolation match — it’s very difficult to get up,” Rauch said. “You’re disappointed as can be. You’ve got less than 24 hours to turn around and play another very good team.
“But it feels a little better winning. It’s a little nicer ending this way.”
Aquinas 2, BV Southwest 1 — Senior Jamie Kutey rifled a shot into the left side of the net in the 66th minute, providing the game-winner in Aquinas' 2-1 victory over Blue Valley Southwest on Saturdayafternoon in the 5A state championship game at Hummer Sports Park.
“You couldn’t write a script better,” Aquinas coach Craig Ewing said. “That’s the way it ends — she wins the state championship again.”
Kutey — the school’s all-time leader in goals and assists — finished her career with a standout performance. The Marquette signee knocked in a shot off a rebound in the ninth minute for the Saints’ first goal, then answered Southwest’s tally in the 59th minute with the 83rd score of her career.
“I would say, honestly, she has the greatest soccer legacy in girls soccer history in Kansas. … I don’t know anybody that can put up a legacy like hers,” Ewing said. “The blessing of having her for four years is ridiculous.”
Kutey finished with four state championships and also scored at least one goal in each of her team’s championship games.
“It’s crazy actually,” Kutey said. “I guess I just turn my engines on when I get to the final.”
Kutey’s game-winning goal was assisted by left backer Sarah Tyler — a connection that also provided the game-winner in last year’s 2-1 title victory over Blue Valley Southwest.
Ewing also was pleased with the play of freshman defender Alex Moss, who shadowed dangerous midfielder Charlotte Davis. The freshman Moss battled through physical play that left her with a concussion afterwards.
Aquinas' six consecutive titles are unmatched in Kansas’ girls soccer history.
“You have to be very blessed and lucky,” Ewing said, “and I think we are.”
Carroll 1, Maize South 0
|Maize South||0 0 0 0 (2)||—||0|
|Carroll||0 0 0 (3)||—||1|
Shutouts — Maize South: Caroline Howard. Carroll: Jami Reichenberger.
Records — Maize South 16-5, Carroll 19-2.